October 2018: Training Risk-based Drinking Water Quality Surveillance in Tajikistan

Within the WHO-EURO project Small and safe: scaling-up water safety planning and effective water quality monitoring in rural Tajikistan, Harold van den Berg provided two 2-days training on risk-based drinking water quality surveillance for Sanitary, Epidemiology and Surveillance (SES) in Dushanbe, Tajikistan. In total, 36 participants from 22 district and 3 regional SES, participated in the training. During the training, the participants learned how to set up and conduct risk-based surveillance for water supplies in the districts. As part of the training, field measurements and sanitary inspections were conducted in water supplies of three villages. Based on the results, we discussed what advice and guidance could be given based on the water quality data and sanitary inspections. 


​​​Six of the participants were identified as a trainer, based on their experiences and participation in previous training on water quality monitoring. The trainers supported the participants with the field measurements and conducting sanitary inspections. In future, the trainers can play an important role in supporting other districts in conducting risk-based surveillance.

July 4th 2018: 41st Codex Alimentarius Commission

RIVM’s Collaborating Centre for Risk Assessment of Pathogens in Food and Water was invited to WHO’s side event during the 41st Codex Alimentarius Commission. The side event highlighted the importance of national capacity-building efforts for conducting foodborne disease burden estimates. Countries can request WHO to support them in calculating disease burden estimations. RIVM’s  WHO CC  will support WHO in providing capacity building workshops.

May  2018: JEMRA on Water Quality in Food Production and Processing at FAO in Rome

14- 18 May  2018, the JEMRA on Water Quality in Food Production and Processing convened for a second time at the FAO in Rome. The first meeting with the RIVM WHO CC was in June 2017 and it was then concluded that further guidance needed to be developed to make the information from the water sector better accessible for the food handling and processing sector, with a focus on fisheries, primary production and reuse and recycling in food processing facilities.

May 2018,  the RIVM WHO CC again played a facilitating role in its interdisciplinary capacity as a bridge-builder between the food and water sector. 


​​​About 20 experts representing high and lower-income settings took part in this meeting in Rome, which had two main goals:

  1. To formulate scientific advice with regard to gaps in current guidance on microbial assessments in relation to fisheries, primary production and reuse/recycling.
  2. To develop a decision support tree with regard to water quality and detailing points of contact for these aforementioned sub-categories

The findings will be presented to the Codex Alimentarius Committee for Food Hygiene (CCFH) in November 2018. Dr Doctor (Doctor)   Rob de Jonge,  Ir. Lieke Friederichs, Prof.   Ana Maria de Roda Husman of the RIVM's WHO Collaborating Centre are recurring members of this JEMRA expert group.

April 2018: Revision of WHO GDWQ

A small group of microbial experts including from RIVM, gathered from April 16-20, 2018 to further the revision of the 4th edition of the World Health Organization (WHO) Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality (GDWQ) kindly hosted by Karl Linden and his group at the University of Colorado in Boulder, USA. The experts determined the next steps in developing the fifth edition of the GDWQ related to microbial aspects. Main topics concerned the microbial fact sheets in Chapter 11 and the microbial treatment tables in Chapter 7 of the WHO GDWQ. The content of the microbial fact sheets was reviewed and also the initial findings from the systematic literature review on selected treatment technologies to inform the update of the microbial treatment tables in the GDWQ including the log reduction values were reviewed. The remaining gaps were identified and agreements made upon a way forward towards the launch of the 5th edition of the WHO GDWQ planned for 2020.




Microbial experts, University of Colorado, Boulder USA


April 2017:  Pan-European Symposium Water and Sanitation Safety Planning and Extreme Weather Events

On April 6 and 7, 2017 the WHO CC on Pathogens in Food and Water hosted a symposium on Water and Sanitation Safety (WSSP) Planning in Extreme Weather Events at RIVM National Institute for Public Health and the Environment   in Bilthoven. The event was co-sponsored by the Netherlands Ministry of Infrastructure and the Environment, WHO Regional Office for Europe and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

Safe management of water and sanitation.

With contributions from over 15 countries, mainly from the pan-European region, the event meant a kick-off from the work on the safe management of water and sanitation systems within the 2017-2019 programme of work of the Protocol on Water and Health.  The symposium included a number of sessions with topics like impacts from flooding and droughts, including health impacts, sanitation safety planning in urban areas, water safety planning in peri-urban and rural areas, and integrated management solutions for climate adaptative water services planning.

The sessions were introduced by keynote presenters, among which were prof. Barbara Evans, prof. Paul Hunter and prof. Pier Vellinga. The WHO Regional Office for Europe supported two workshops: one on Climate-adaptive Water Safety Planning and one on Sanitation Safety Planning. In an interactive session, the potential linkage between the two, and their potential to provide an integrated management strategy for climate adaptive water management was discussed. The presentations from the symposium can be found on the IWC website http://www.iwcconferences.com/wssp-and-extreme-weather/

A symposium summary report is available. For more information please send an e-mail to whocc.micro@rivm.nl